1 Corinthians 2:1-10
A pilot program at the United States Air Force Academy, designed to protect and respect religious diversity, came up for review recently with the intention to present it to the Department of Defense as curriculum for all U.S. military academies.
The Rev. Stephen Boyd, UCC minister for chaplains and specialized ministers, attended the Conference on Religious Respect at the Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. The purpose of the conference was to access the progress made concerning the Academy's intentional efforts to acknowledge and respect all religions represented on campus.
In 2008, the Air Force Academy decided to scrutinize and evaluate its policies concerning religion, specifically proselytizing on the campus, after episodes were reported in the news media. As a result, in 2010, the Air Force created a specific curriculum that addresses the subject of religious respect for all cadets on the Academy grounds.
There was initial concern that the additional curriculum could overload the cadets. Adding to an academic program that combines the standard college material for recognized majors with the military training necessary for future officers could have made the workload difficult. But, as Boyd says, "the Chaplains and the academic staff realized the importance of addressing these issues and their significance in the grooming of their future officers and the impact on the ever-changing landscape of the Air Force."